The Worst Ever Voice Mail Messages and What to Say Instead

Some voice mail messages are unbelievable.Annoyed-woman-on-phone

You may have received one or two of these unbelievable messages.

Like the person who is eating while leaving the message.

Or someone who is chewing gum.  Not sure which is worse.

Then, the worst:

A sales rep making a cold call who actually yawned while reading (yes, reading) his voice mail message. True.

This voice mail was so shocking, I played it over and over again to make sure he really was yawning.   He was.

Two more voice mail mistakes:

1.)    Leaving only a name and number for a call back.

Some may think that not leaving a company name is an attention getter. But if the prospect returns the call and realizes it is a salesperson trying to sell something, this tactic will leave a negative impression.

There goes that first impression :-(

When leaving a message on voice mail, be sure it offers a hint of a benefit/result that sparks curiosity, but does not talk about your products or services.

2.) Saying “I’ve left 3 other voice mail messages for you and haven’t heard back from you.”  

(Otherwise known as “how to annoy a client.“)

There is a MUCH better way to get your point across and motivate the listener to return your call.

This is an example of a third or fourth voice-mail message you can leave (tactfully) for the client who did NOT return your calls:


“Hello [customer’s name]. This is [your name] at [your telephone

number] calling from [your company]. I’m sorry we’ve

been unable to connect, but I want to let you know that [time sensitive

benefit, i.e., “sale ends on the 30th of this month”] and I

would hate to see you miss out on this opportunity. Please call

me at [your telephone number.]”

You can get more voice mail scripts in my e-book Voice Mail Tips and Scripts on this page .

Better yet:

Join me for a private one-to-one coaching and training e-course designed specifically for you and your situation. Send an email to annbarr@annbarr.comn and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. I would love to hear from you!

- Ann

p.s.  Learn why clients don’t return calls on this page

The Demise of The Salesman

death-of-a-salesman-tnNote:  This is a guest post by Marcia Coffey, a WordPress Designer, Inbound Marketer and Ecommerce Developer. She develops affordable responsive Word Press websites. Find Marcia on Twitter.

This is NOT good news for those of you who prefer the hard sell and printed media.

By the time your potential customer arrives at your showroom, enters your store or rummages through your many, exciting wares, 60% of the selling process has already been done.

But not by YOU! Likewise NOT by ads in newspapers or on TV, not by outdoor advertising, direct mail flyers, brochures, postcards, stickers or even car wraps!

The message or CONTENT is still critical. But the Messenger has changed platforms. It is now the Internet. And, it is the Web in all its colorful clothing, constantly changing locations, on all of  its devices … iPhones, iPads, Androids, tablets, desktops, laptops … on different size monitors and used for different purposes.

Now the Messenger is under your complete control as buyer or consumer. You make the decisions, not the salesman.

“The Message” or Content now is multi-tasking. It can be a website,  a blog post, a Facebook page, a newsletter, a tweet, a podcast, a YouTube video, a slideshow, a Pinterest page, an e-book , a Google hangout, and so it goes. Digital content has no size or time boundaries, unlike a 2 column newspaper ad.

Two More Advantages of Inbound Marketing:

  • Much cheaper – by a factor of 61% – to get leads on the net than to purchase sales leads by zipcode.
  • You can actually target cost-effectively and measure your audience, then edit/revise your content as needed.

Use These 4 Words and Your Clients Will Love You

Sunday afternoon my niece Kathryn phoned me and started the conversation with four thoughtful words.

Actually, Kathryn used the same words in an email she sent to me the day before with the same lovely effect.


Kathryn, my unforgettable nieceInteresting:  These four words can be used very effectively when speaking with clients. (And . . . no . . . one of the words is not “love.”) It is one way you can become unforgettable if you are not already :-)

(This is Kathryn, my unforgettable niece, teaching a class.)

Beginning a conversation with these four words – if you genuinely mean what you are saying – is a guaranteed way to capture attention with a client or a friend or a family member.

Those four special words?

“I thought of you . . . “

In Kathryn’s case, she thought of me when she watched a TV show about people living near the Atlantic ocean.

How you can use these words with clients

When a business situation involves contacting clients about a special offer, you can start off with:

“I thought of you when this special offer became available.  Because you purchased the XYZ copier, this would be a great time for you to stock up on __________________.”

Rather than just smiling and dialing using the same old script to announce the special offer, use those four words and you will create a personal connection with the client.

For more good ideas plus personalized one-to-one sales training and coaching, drop me a line:

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a beautiful day!

- Ann



One Three-Letter Word can Derail a Sales Presentation

man-holding-hands-over-ears-medThis seems too simple to really make a difference.

Actually, it makes a very big difference.

There is one word, used in everyday conversation, which can derail an otherwise perfect sales presentation.

This one little word is often used when responding to an objection, but it can ruin everything else you say.

Words Matter

How quickly you capture a customer’s attention depends on how carefully you choose your words, according to Maura Schreier-Fleming, author of “Real-World Selling for Out of this World Results.”

Schreier-Fleming recommends staying away from one particular word.

Avoid This Word

“If a customer has a concern, our job as salespeople is to listen, to acknowledge and to hear that concern.

“Using the word ‘but‘ negates everything you’ve said before it,” warns Schreier-Fleming.

“What your customer hears is the disagreement that precedes an argument.”

Instead, first acknowledge the concern and follow with the word “and.”

For example, your customer might comment that the process you recommend sounds complicated.

You would respond:

“Yes, it is complicated and with our technical assistance . . . ”

Think about how much better the word “and” sounds – in the sentence above – instead of the word “but.”


“We are happy with our current vendor.”

When hearing this objection, some salespeople begin their response with “Yes, but we can offer you a lower price” or better quality products, or faster delivery, etc.

A more effective way to handle this objection is to use a soft-sell response without the word “but.”

Like this tip?  Sign up for more good ideas on this page.

And …

… join my e-course to discover the best ways to handle – and pre-handle objections!

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a beautiful day!



How to Use Bartering to Attract New Customers

One Virginia Beach business owner is using a successful form of bartering (and marketing) to add perceived value and attract new customers.

A good example of how he does it:

Barter System In September I took my car to the local CITGO station for some needed work. They have been taking care of my cars for years, with good results.

When the work was completed I checked out and paid the bill.

The receptionist gave me a piece of paper which read:

“Write a review about your service and we will reward you with a free hand car wash. Visit our website and click on the “Write Review” tab and tell us about our service. Stop in with review proof and receive your free hand car wash with an appointment.”

I made the time to write a good review and scheduled an appointment for the car wash.

On Saturday I took my car into the station for the free hand car wash and now my car is cleaner than ever except when it was brand new :)

The barter: A good online review in exchange for a free (needed) car wash.

The marketing: Good reviews add to the perceived value of the business and attract new customers.

Anyone looking online for where to have a car serviced in Virginia Beach will see dozens of positive reviews for this CITGO service station. A great way to attract new customers!

If you are looking for new marketing and/or bartering tactics, drop me a line. I have imaginative and workable ideas based on more than 20 years of experience and would love to hear from you!